All Blacks back at full strength for Boks TestSports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 24 Sep 2021
New Zealand will return to full strength for the historic 100th Test match between the All Blacks and South Africa tomorrow as they seek to clinch the Rugby Championship.
Coach Ian Foster made eight changes to his starting lineup for the Test in Townsville, Australia, recalling veterans including playmaker Beauden Barrett and influential lock Brodie Retallick.
Flanker Ardie Savea again captains the team after leading an experimental side to victory over Argentina last week.
Foster said he was excited to face South Africa for the first time since taking over as head coach after the 2019 World Cup.
"This has got a bit of a legacy moment feel about it - 100 Tests and 100 years, it certainly makes it special, along with the fact we haven't played South Africa for a couple of years," he said.
The All Blacks top the table and can wrap up the tournament with a win.
The majority of Foster's changes were up front, an area where he said the All Blacks expect a "torrid" time from the physical Springboks.
Prop Joe Moody is the only remaining member of the tight five that started against Argentina, with Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Scott Barrett and Retallick all brought in.
Luke Jacobson and Akira Ioane line up alongside Savea in the back row.
Beauden Barrett returns at fly-half and David Havili replaces Quinn Tupaea in the centers.
- Flanker Rob Leota will make his run-on debut as Australia look to inflict more pain on Argentina tomorrow, while Reece Hodge won the race to replace an injured Tom Banks at full-back.